Categorized | Clean Tech

E.U. energy plan includes electricity interconnectors linking Ireland to France

The European Commission has yesterday adopted a list of 195 key energy infrastructure projects which will help deliver Europe’s energy and climate objectives and form key building blocks of the EU’s Energy Union.

Electricity interconnectors linking Ireland to France and Britain, as well as two North-South interconnectors, are included in a list of “key” energy development initiatives.

The list of projects is an updated version of the “Projects of Common Interest” first adopted in October 2013. It includes 108 electricity, 77 gas, seven oil and three smart grid projects. The key focus for Ireland is greater integration through more electricity and gas interconnectors.

A number of potential Irish projects have been dropped, but key interconnectors remain, for example the “Celtic Interconnector” linking Great Island in Wexford with La Martyre in France.

Others include a Great Island to Pembroke, Wales interconnector known as “Greenline”, and another linking Co Derry with Islay, Argyll. This would provide an entry point for electricity coming from offshore wind farms proposed for the north Irish Sea.

In principle energy infrastructure should be financed by the market and through tariffs paid by users. However, to meet the huge investment challenge the EU has set up funds like the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) which will help leverage the investment needed.

Under CEF, in 2014 and 2015, €797 million has been allocated to co-finance studies and construction works to help implement the PCIs.

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